The writings on the wall - the signboards, the television, social networks and pretty much everywhere you look now. Mother's day is round the corner! And as a mother of two, I can't help but reminisce over the kind of mother I am, and the kind I hope to be
On most days if you ask me what does being a mother mean to me, I would probably going to say, ' It depends on what time of the day you ask! Mornings are meant for being a bellowing coach who kicks his students out of bed in time to get in line for the training (in this case school), in the afternoons it's a well organised administrator who is trying to tick chores off her list (lunch, classes, nap time and what have you) evenings are about transforming into an entertainer trying to amuse the toughest audience I have known yet! And nights, yes, nights are when I am Zen-like monk, once the kids are in bed of course! That's my moment of silence, my time to reflect on the day, and think about what I can do better. My motherhood radar oscillates wildly between being a rational thinking human to a being a frenzied woman trying to juggle all the balls that are up in the air.
But on weeks' like this, when you can't escape all the dialogue on motherhood thanks to smart marketing and promotions, I can't help but get into a reflective mode on how I am doing as a mother. Clearly the marketing gurus are doing something right! But coming back to the subject, if you were to ask me, whilst I am in this zone, about what being a mother means to me, my response would probably be a slightly different one. I would have to tell you that for me motherhood is simply rolling out the blueprint of lessons that have been etched in my memory even before I understood what the word 'mother' meant. It happened the first time she held me in her arms, and thereafter with every hug, kiss and conversation. It happened when my mother, showed me everyday, what being a mother means, through her actions and her words. It is this blueprint of lessons that I learnt as a child that I am able to draw from whenever I am faced with any motherhood conundrum in my life today.
So, what are those lessons I learnt that make me the mother I am? Here are 5 that I can share from the infinite bank of learning's.
1. Patience is everything: For every time I have felt like I am going to loose my temper, or for every time waves of exhaustion have swept over me – the one constant that has kept me going is my mother's example of patience. There are always times when the brats don't listen to a word of instruction, or when they insist on traveling at snail's pace despite knowing the school bus may leave, making the temptation to yell and get the job done hard to resist. But that's when I get to dig up this lesson. I often recollect the times I too tested my mother's patience like this, and more often than not, and how she, despite my shenanigans managed to always remain patient with me, knowing that I am only exploring more of who I really am. She allowed me the occasional slip, and let me understand the consequences, instead of yelling me down to follow the rules.
2. Conversations over chores: As mothers in today's times, we not only have children to look after, but a myriad of other things that occupy our life, it could be work, it could be our passions, the household duties and just about everything else in between. It's no wonder then that days can feel a never-ending list of to-dos. However, every once in a while, I break away from the list of chores that need urgent attention, to just sit down with my children and have a tea party or a Lego war, and this is when the conversations flow. And it's a ritual that I have picked up from my childhood days. I remember when, my mom would perch my sister and me atop the kitchen counter, and while she cooked and let us help, we would end up having the most interesting conversations about what we want do when we grow up, or what part of the world she would like to see, or even just about the fact that how the food we are making is important for our growing bodies!
3. Kindnesses and Consideration: You can teach your child a zillion table manners and social etiquette rules, but unless they see you living by the same code, you can be sure that its unlikely that they will follow them. And when I see my little brats, requesting for a glass of water with a please and turning down something offered with a no thank you, or treating the help in the house like a member of the family, who must be a part of every celebration, I know we are doing something right. And I have my mother to thank for this kindness that has become second nature. In our growing up years my sister and I have seen how teary eyed my mother got even when she had to bid good bye to the help because we were moving cities, or how she treated everyone she met with equal enthusiasm and kindness. And that's the lesson our children see us living out today and learn from too.
4. Pursuing a passion: This one I am particularly grateful for.Its because of her painstaking efforts to help my sister and me explore what we love to do and then encouraging us to pursue it, no matter how much exertion that meant for her, that we have shaped up into the individuals that we are today. So when I see my children showing an interest in music or reading, I instinctively go back to that lesson that my mother taught me and help them explore their love for something the very same way, knowing that they will truly revel in their passion, only if there is someone behind them to not only encourage them and but also discover how to enjoy the process.
5. Being myself: This is perhaps the biggest gift that any parent can give their child, a sense of self-assurance in who they really are. As children,our mother ensured she told us enough times how it was alright to be different from the others. So, when we did try to fit it in, or be like the other kids we thought were 'cool', she was right there, telling us otherwise. And I am thankful that she did. Today, as my children grow up and deal with situations where they may not fit in, it is her words that ring in my ears, about how each child is meant to have a special gift and that it is by sharing and celebrating each other's uniqueness that lasting friendships were found.
Sure, there are times when motherhood is overwhelming, and it's easy to forget these very lessons in the thick of things. But I feel a sense of comfort knowing that even if I derail for a while, I always have the blueprint of lessons that I can go back to whenever I want to. And for that I will always be grateful to my biggest teacher and friend. My mother! What kind of lessons did you learn from your mom? Do write in, I would love to know.